My first reaction to the letter to the editor from Denis and Yolanda Corbett on homelessness evoked an initial reaction along the lines of, “Are you kidding me?”
However, upon reflection, it struck me as elitist commentary on a condition that is not unique to Victoria or any city in this country, or for that matter around the world. It has been visible on the streets of Sidney for several years.
I have no doubt that some who are on the streets are there by choice but many have mental and physical health issues, drug abuse issues, etc. that preclude them from enjoying the fine lifestyle of the writers.
Governments for decades have ignored the issue for a variety of reasons but I suspect mostly from problems of allocation of financial resources brought on by an electorate who wants all sorts of services, better wait time, etc. but is not willing to pay more in taxes to get the better outcomes. Even professionals such as doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. are hard-pressed to find affordable housing so where is the magic to come from to solve homelessness?
How much more in residential taxes, income taxes and other taxes are the writers prepared to commit of their income to make significant change such that affordable housing is available, and to provide mental health services, etc. to address drug abuse and find these folks meaningful employment if they would accept it? Ten per cent? 25? How about 50 per cent?
My bet is the answer will be as it always is “I don’t want to pay more in taxes but I want what I want from government.”
There is nothing free when it comes to what government does that costs money. Their activities are but a redistribution of wealth in the form of taxation, so if we want more how much is it worth? There is no silver bullet folks.